Advice on how to deal with my dad

Hi everyone. My mom had an SAH about 3 and a half months ago, and I am worried and stressed about how my dad is handling it now. He is drinking heavily and is very lonely. He is not seeing improvement with my mom (even though she is) and has become very doubtful. It breaks my heart because at the beginning of this I felt that things would be ok, and I know it will take time, but he is very impatient. I know he loves my mom, but he doesn’t know what to do with himself now, and it makes me furious that while I’m down at the hospital for hours with my mother, he is at the bar. It’s like he is giving up on her. All of their married life, (37 years) she has taken care of him, and now that the tables are reversed he can’t handle it. I break down at least 3 times a week, and I told him that I can’t handle much more. I can’t be down supporting my mom while worrying about him driving around drunk. I never thought my dad would be like this. I’ve told him many times how I feel, but it doesn’t seem to phase him. My husband says I have to cut the ties with him but if I do that, my mom may not have a home to come home too! My mom would be so hurt to know he was down sitting at a bar drinking while she lays in a bed… Sorry guys I just had to vent I am so upset.

Hey Chris,

I'm so sorry you're having to go thru this with your dad---this is i'm sure, really hard to deal with in light of your mom being in the hospital still, and i would think you'd be more then a little angry with your dad at this point...totally understandable, but man....I don't know what you can say or do to make him come around and 'snap to' so to speak...I feel your pain, this can't be easy on you at all.

Peace, Janet

Hi Chris,

It is hard to be in your position, a parent that needs her partner and the other who doesn’t know how to deal with the situation. I have been in your shoes and my heart goes out to you. Is there someone you can talk with? Pastor, or professional that could give you some advise on coping with this situation? Your father needs help as well. But first you must take care of yourself. Take care, and we will keep you in our prayers.


Chris - my heart goes out to you, your dealing with two very difficult situations. Suggest you not try and talk with your Dad when/after he's been drinking. It's useless and frustrating. Is there a social worker, or chaplain at the hospital you might get to try and step in? Do you have other siblings who might join you in a meeting with you Dad or does he have close friends who might intervene? He might be able to just stop if it's only heavy drinking, but if he's crossed the line into alcoholism that's a different story. Al-Anon meetings and/or liturature might have suggestions for you - you can pull them up online.




My heart goes out to you to be dealing with all of this. Your Dad sounds like he is grieving for the life he had with your mother and has started using alcohol as a crutch. He clearly needs support from a professional who can offer counselling to come to terms with his situation as well as with dealing with his addiction. You won't be able to get him to accept help though until he admits he has a problem. You are probably going to have to be very tough with him and that might mean to do exactly what he has suggested and turn your back on him telling him you will only support him when he is prepared to stop being selfish and get some help. You should get some support yourself on how to deal with all of this and then you can concentrate on what is most important (probably helping your mother through her recovery).

You will do what is right. You are clearly stronger than you think. Best wishes and feel free to use the forum for support- we all do that!

I am glad you came to vent...and I hurt for you advice...but sending out some prayers to you and your family...~ Colleen

Hello. You are having a tough time and I feel for you and your Dad. I don't really have any advice to give, though perhaps getting your Dad on here might help as there will be people here who have been through the same. It must be really hard for him to see the person he's know so long, so well and who has been a rock in his life change so dramatically from being capable to needing so much help. There will be mourning for the loss as well as struggling to adapt to the new situation. Alcohol probably eases the pain a bit, but is certainly not a long term solution. He needs support as well as your Mum, so is he open to something like one of the BAF support groups or referral for some type of bereavement counselling?

its ok to vent, maybe its time to ASK for help. many organizations offer help.Dad might need a break and some counseling.

My heart broke today. My dad lashed out at me because I called him out, basically caught him cheating and lying, it was bad. He told me I hate to tell you this but mom isn’t going to get any better and I’m only human… I have so much anger and hatred right now, I can’t believe he would treat me this way and give up on her! I found a 5 star skilled nursing facility with excellent rehab, she is tranfering there in the next few days. My mom hasn’t tried to talk to us in a while, or try to move and he just gives up! It’s only been not even 4 months! My heart aches and please keep praying for my family… Thank you all for your words and kindness and prayers! I’m an only child and feel so alone! I will never give up on her

Hi Chris,

I am so sorry what you have been going through and I can relate very much. I am the only child too. My parents have been married for 38 years and my mom was the one that took care of everything.

Every family is different and has its unique situation, and I can only offer my point-of-view: as it is very hard on me, I know it is even harder on my dad since he is the one that lived with my mom everyday and was being taken care of. As much as I worry about my mom, I worry about my dad more, since my mom is still recovering with professional care while my dad is out there by himself with all the anxiety and emotions. Since I am in US and they are in Asia, I talk to him everyday and email pictures/ videos of our daily life to him so he know he still has us (and he can show pictures/ videos on the ipad while visiting my mom.) I let him involve with arranging Mom's accommodation and discuss what's the best care for my mom. Because of this, I am closer to my dad than I was before, and I think he feels the same. He is doing his best to be strong and I am very proud of him.

It is a very difficult situation for your family as it has been very difficult for us. It is painful to have this emotional roller coaster and sometimes I just want to shut down, so I understand your dad's reaction. Please give him sometime, remind him that you are still his little girl and you are in this with him. Maybe get him involved with mom's recovery, so he doesn't feel that helpless?

When I feel alone, I count my blessings, knowing my mom come this far is already a big achievement, knowing not only me, but other people that love her are also praying for her and helping her recovery.

I pray for your family.

Sending hugs x

Thank you guys for your kind words. I have decided to let my dad do what he is going to do, I don’t have the strength or energy to spend yelling and crying at him anymore. We have a business type relationship, I help him with bills, money and desicion making, but that’s about it. I am devasted that our relationship has turned into this. The other night he did something unimaginable, and I can’t even face him now. My focus is on my mom and my family, and I am trying to stay strong for them. I break down at least twice a day, but at least I get back up and put on a happy face. Thank you guys again.